4 Health Hazards Posed by Old Homes and How to Remedy Them

There’s nothing quite like the charm of an old home. With their high ceilings, large windows, and spacious rooms, they offer a unique character that newer homes just can’t replicate. However, while these older homes may be charming, they often come with a price tag: health hazards. From lead paint to asbestos to vermin infestations, old homes can pose a serious threat to your health if not remedied. This blog post will discuss four of the most common health hazards posed by old homes and how you can remedy them.

home health and safety

Lead Paint

One of the most common health hazards posed by old homes is lead paint. Lead paint was used extensively in homes built back in the day and can be found on walls, ceilings, doors, and windows. If ingested or inhaled, lead paint can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. The best way to remediate lead paint is to have a professional come in and remove it. 

A certified lead abatement contractor will use containment and negative air pressure to prevent lead dust from spreading during the removal process. Once the lead paint has been removed, the area will need to be repainted with safe, lead-free paint.

Asbestos

Asbestos is another common health hazard found in older homes. Asbestos was used extensively in construction and insulation materials prior to the 1980s and can be found in a variety of places in an old house, including flooring, pipes, siding, and insulation. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause a number of severe health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer. If you suspect that your home contains asbestos, it’s important to have it tested and removed by a professional.

Vermin Infestations

Another common health hazard posed by old homes is a vermin infestation. Mice, rats, cockroaches, and other pests can damage not only your home but also spread diseases. If you suspect that you have a vermin problem, it’s important to call in a professional exterminator. They will be able to identify the type of pests present and develop a plan to get rid of them. Once the pests are gone, you’ll need to take steps to prevent them from returning. This may include sealing up cracks and holes in your home, removing food sources, and using traps or baits.

Mold

Mold is another common health hazard found in old homes. Mold can grow on damp or wet surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, floors, and pipes. Inhaling mold spores can cause a number of respiratory problems, including asthma attacks, bronchitis, and allergic reactions. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, it’s crucial to call in a professional remediation company. 

In conclusion, old homes can pose a serious threat to your health if not remedied. This blog post has discussed four of the most common health hazards posed by old houses and how you can fix them. Taking these steps will help protect you and your family from the serious health risks posed by old homes and keep you and your family safe and happy for years to come.

5 Home Disasters And How To Recover From Them

repairs after disasters flooding tornadoes

In the wake of a disaster, many of us are too shaken up to think about recovery. However, it could be important to action quickly – damage left unrepaired could lead to more damage. So just what recovery steps should you take? Below are 5 home disasters that occur across the US and how to recover from them. 

Burglary

There are over 1 million burglaries committed in the US each year. On top of stealing valuable possessions, burglars can often cause huge amounts of damage in the process. 

While you may be eager to replace the stolen items and make these repairs, it’s important to not touch anything initially. The first thing you should do is to report the crime to the police. Leave everything where it is so that they can take any evidence they may need. Police will be able to advise you on how to secure your home while waiting for repairs. 

The second thing you should do is to notify your insurer. It could also be worth taking pictures of the scene so that you have evidence to send to your insurer. You can then make a claim and hopefully get enough compensation to pay for essential repairs and replacements.

If your home isn’t covered by insurance, you will have to pay for repairs and replacements yourself. Be wary that there may be local charities that can help to provide funding.

Many homes that are burgled end up being targeted again. By investing in security measures such as burglar alarms, security cameras, exterior lighting and strong locks you may be able to prevent yourself from being a victim twice. 

Flooding

In 2021 alone, 15 millions homes across America were affected by natural disasters. Floods are one of the biggest and most devastating natural disasters, causing huge amounts of damage to property and possessions. They can often be a knock-on effect of hurricanes, but can also be caused simply by excess rainfall. Plumbing disasters can also often lead to floods. 

Recovering from a flood is a gradual process. First, you must make sure that your home is safe. Turn off the gas and electricity at the mains if you can reach the switches. You may need to find temporary accommodation for a while until your home is cleared up as there may be bacteria from sewerage and mold everywhere. 

You should then photograph the damage and get in touch with your insurer if you have flood cover. If you cannot make an insurance claim, there could be grants or loans that you can look into to pay for recovery.

There are companies that can help carry out a flooding clean up for you. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent further damage and should include first drying out your home and then removing anything that is damaged and unsalvageable. You can then look into making necessary repairs and replacing any important items that were damaged by the flood.

If you live in a high-risk flood zone, it could be important to protect your home against possible future floods. Consider looking into either wet floodproofing or dry floodproofing. The latter involves keeping all water out of your home, while the former allows water into your home but minimizes damage. 

Fire

Over 350,000 house fires occur every year in the US. While some of these fires are able to be put out before they cause much damage, others can cause significant damage.

It is recommended that you move out of your home following a fire, as it may not be safe. A fire inspector will be able to assess the damage and determine whether your home is safe to still live in and what repairs are needed. Some homes may not be salvageable – in which case you may have no choice but to permanently move out or rebuild your home from scratch. 

You should call your insurer straight away and send them any photo evidence that they may need. If you do not have insurance, consider looking into other types of funding such as loans and grants for fire recovery

There are specialist fire restoration companies that can help restore your home. Any personal possessions damaged by the fire may need to be thrown out and replaced. 

Earthquake

Earthquakes occur mainly across the west of the US. The most severe ones can cause huge amounts of damage that can be very costly to recover from.

Following an earthquake, you should get your home inspected to make sure that it is safe. You should then invest in any repairs that may need to be made.

If you are insured, make sure to notify your insurer beforehand and make a claim before committing to any repairs. If you are not covered by insurance, there is other financial support out there for earthquake victims. 

It is important that you invest in some earthquake-proofing home improvements to protect your property against future possible earthquakes. Securing furniture, cabinets, appliances and doors can often help to prevent these items getting damaged.

Tornado

Tornadoes are most commonly found across the Great Plains. They cause huge amounts of damage to homes each year.

If your home is directly in the path of a tornado, there is a high chance that it could be completely wiped out. However, not all tornadoes cause such extensive damage and repairs may be necessary. You should get your home inspected to work out the extent of the damage and whether your home is salvageable.

Tornado damage is a form of storm damage and may be covered by your insurer. Notify your insurer as soon as possible, take pictures of your home and make a claim.

If you do not have insurance, there may be other funding that you can look into. A number of charities provide relief for those that have experienced storm damage. Look into these types of charities.

It could be important to protect your home against future tornadoes. Storm shutters, brace garage doors and reinforced roof are some of the improvements you can make. 

Things To Add To Your Dream Kitchen

dream kitchen

Everybody has a perfect kitchen in their minds, and if you’re like most people, you’re always adding new items to your mental wish list. However, there might be a few things you missed.

Equipment Garage 

Are you tired of having so many gadgets cluttering up your counters and room? Make sure to include a closet made to house these products in an accessible but hidden location when designing your ideal kitchen. The cabinet must have enough room to fit even your blender inside without running out of room.

Unique Cabinets 

Speaking of cabinets, take it a step further and customize every one of them to make the most of your available space. The perfect kitchen will have the appropriate cupboards for it, providing space for a window or door as needed so you have a place to keep whatever you desire. 

A deep two-sink basin 

Is there ever enough space in the sink? The past says no! You won’t regret choosing a deeper sink than usual. Farmhouse sinks are one alternative available on the market, but if you want traditional metal, go for a double sink so you have more space than the typical one.

Touch-Sensitive Faucet 

This is essential if you cook often. With these useful models, you simply need to bump them with any naked part of your body, such as the back of your hand, your elbow, etc. It can get messy when your hands are coated with dough and you need to turn on the faucet, but It will automatically turn on the faucet so you may wash your hands without making a mess all over.

A pot filler 

The pot-filler, a tap that swings out over the stove to fill a pot where it is on the burner, is yet another indispensable cooking tool. It’s an easy feature to add and saves time and effort because you don’t have to carry a heavy pot of splashing liquid to the burner. The fact that it makes your life easier more than makes up for that, though.

Counter space 

Utilizing every square inch of space should be your main priority when designing your ideal kitchen, with a special attention to work surfaces and countertops. It’s easy to underestimate how much counter space you’ll need for anything from cooking to exhibiting gadgets and appliances to working from home to enjoying meals with your loved ones, so be sure to think through all of your potential uses for your worktops.

Lighting is vitally important 

In any space, but notably the kitchen, lighting is crucial. This is due to the fact that it serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. To make food preparation easier, think about installing hidden spotlights beneath your wall cabinets, statement lights over your kitchen island that you can dim to suit the mood you want to set, and even plinth lights that run along the base of your floor cabinets to softly light up your kitchen walkways at night. Even adding lamps to your kitchen countertops is a way to alter the ambiance.

How to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Fall is a beautiful season to enjoy in your home. The vibrant colors of leaves on the trees, cool weather, and cozy sweaters all make it the perfect time to curl up with a book, light some candles, and take in your home. With just a few minor adjustments, you can transform your home into a little nest perfect for cuddling with the ones you love this fall. How do you get ready for fall? Preparing your home for the fall season doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. You can ease into fall by making simple changes that significantly impact your home.

fall foliage

Service Your HVAC

First and foremost, your heating and cooling system will be the foundation of your home comfort during fall. Check your HVAC system for any issues, such as clogs, broken parts, or other malfunctions. If you find problems, it is best to fix them as soon as possible. Getting hvac maintenance booked in before the temperatures drop and demand for repairs grows can help you to save money on costs this fall and ensure your system is completely ready for winter.

 

Check Insulation Levels

As the weather changes from warm to cool, it’s essential to ensure your home stays comfortable. You may need to add more insulation if you live in an older home. You can add an extra layer of batting or fiberglass in your attic or look at newer insulation methods such as spray foam insulation. You can check your insulation levels to see where to add or remove insulation.

 

Inspect Windows & Doors For Drafts

Another important aspect of keeping your home comfortable is ensuring no drafts come in through your windows or doors. Check your windows for drafts, including the ones in your entries. If you find that you have a draft, you can either add weather stripping or replace the old door or window with a new one. 

 

Clean Roof and Guttering

Finally, clean your roof and gutters as the leaves fall to prevent clogs that could cause damage. If you are in an area with heavy leaf fall, you will want to clean your roof and gutters more frequently. When cleaning your roof and gutters, you can use a power washer to eliminate most leaves, pine needles, and other debris. Be careful not to use too much water to clean your roof and gutters as it could cause water to back into your home.

 

Conclusion

Now that you know how to prepare your home for fall, it is time to start! You can do many things to prepare your home for fall, from adding cozier decor and accessories such as blankets, candles, cushions, and so on to deep cleaning your home to prepare for the colder weather. However, making sure you look at some bigger, more vital parts of your home can help you to avoid any breakdowns or the need for emergency repairs. So take the time to check over the things mentioned in this post, and you can relax knowing your home is ready for fall.

Creating Privacy in and Around Your Home

restored home

Everyone wants their home to be private. It’s a place of sanctuary where you want to enjoy time on your own or with your family. Even if you invite guests in sometimes, you don’t want random people to peek in at what you’re doing while you’re at home. Fortunately, there are ways you can create privacy in your home and ensure you can enjoy it as you want to. Making some changes to both the interior and exterior of your home can help you to make your home more private. Take a look at these tips for creating privacy in and around your home.

 

Soundproof Your Home

 

Soundproofing your home is one of the best ways you can make it more private. Good soundproofing shuts out sound from outside but it also keeps sound in your home. So not only are you blocking out external noise, but you’re also preventing neighbors or passersby from hearing your conversations and other activities. You can soundproof your home in a number of ways. Outside, you can use fencing or plants to create a more soundproof space. Inside, you can consider your windows and doors to prevent sound from traveling between indoors and outdoors.

 

Protect the Perimeter

 

The perimeter of your home is important to think about if you want to create more privacy. If you protect the perimeter, you can prevent people from being nosy and create a private space that you can enjoy without worrying about others disturbing you. A fence or wall is a good option for creating privacy. You could consider automatic access gate installation to ensure you still have good access to your home. A gate will provide security while also making sure you’re still able to come and go as you please. Automatic gates make it easier to get in and out with your car too.

 

Prevent Neighbors Looking In

 

Worrying about your neighbors peering into your home can prevent you from enjoying it properly. They could see in when walking past or standing outside, or they might be able to look through your windows or down onto your backyard from the upper levels of their own homes. If you want to stop neighbors from looking into your home, you could use tinting or frosting on windows. Light window dressings can also create privacy while still letting light through. In your backyard, consider using your landscaping and hardscaping to create more privacy from above.

 

Use Security Tech

 

Using security technology can also help to create more privacy in your home. It can discourage people from getting too close so that you can keep your home to yourself. Installing a security camera could be a good idea if you want to make your home more private. Get a camera that will save the footage to the cloud so you can easily review it or check on it when you’re away from home.

Focus on creating privacy in and around your home and you can improve your enjoyment of your property whenever you’re home.

Reduce Airborne Allergens in Your Home with These Simple Tips

Reduce Airborne Allergens

Airborne allergens can come from various sources, such as dust mites and pollen, and with allergies on the rise, most people have someone in their family with an allergy or asthma. Reducing airborne allergens in your home will not only save you money on asthma medication and other medical expenses, but it will also help protect your family members who suffer from allergies as well as yourself. Here are six simple tips that can help reduce airborne allergens in your home:

Use HEPA filters

HEPA filters are the best way to remove 99.9% of dust particles. They’re also the best way to remove airborne allergens. If you have allergies or asthma, you’ve probably noticed how better your allergies are when you have a HEPA filter in your home. HEPA filters are usually cheaper than air purifiers and come in various sizes that can be easily installed in your home. Although most HEPA air filters are meant to be used in offices and bedrooms, you can also use them in the kitchen, family room, and even the garage. HEPA filters are proven to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns, smaller than a human hair’s width. Dust particles are one of the most common airborne allergens, but they can also cause serious health problems such as asthma, emphysema, and eye irritation. HEPA filters are the best way to protect your family members and yourself from airborne allergens.

Close the windows

It may seem like something easy to point out, but closing your windows during the day can stop allergens from entering your home. If you need to open windows, do it early in the morning or in the evening when the risk is lower, and ensure you have an air filtration system in your home if your allergies are severe enough to warrant it. While you cannot stop all allergens from getting into your home, you can reduce this amount.

Don’t dry the washing outdoors.

Many people hang their clothes outside to dry because it’s faster and easier than using the dryer. While this option is better for your clothes and the environment, it might not be a great idea if you have allergies. Pollen and other external allergens can bind to your clothing, meaning you track them into the house and your body when you wear them. If the risk of allergies is low, drying washing outside is safer; however, it is best to avoid drying outside on high pollen days.

Install allergen-friendly flooring.

Allergens and dust can sit in carpets for a long time. If you are struggling with allergies in the home, it can be worthwhile looking at changing your flooring to a more hypoallergenic option such as vinyl or engineered wood flooring. Noto ly is this flooring easier to clean using disinfectants, but it means you can easily remove allergens and not worry about them hanging around in carpets for too long.

Vacuum regularly

Vacuuming is one of the most effective ways to reduce airborne allergens. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can increase your chances of providing an allergen-free home for your family. The filters trap the particles and keep them in the machine until you empty them so they’re not released back into your home. Vacuum as frequently as you need to in your home, be it every day or a few times per day. Include all carpets, rugs, mattresses, and soft furnishings for a deeper clean.

Use a professional cleaning for a deep clean

Allergens can be present in many different ways. A professional cleaning company can help you carry out a deep clean of your home using specific products that not only remove allergens but don’t introduce new ones via harsh chemicals. When booking a Deep Clean Service, discuss your allergy requirements with your cleaning company and talk to them about the areas of your home you would like to concentrate on. Once your cleaners know about specific allergies you or your family members have, it will be easier for them to control the environment during the clean-up to leave you with a healthier home.

Conclusion

Airborne allergens in your home can wreak havoc on your health and cause permanent damage to your airway. There are many different ways in which you can reduce allergens in your home but making sure you keep on top of regular cleaning, reduce soft furnishing that can attract dust, and use the right cleaning products and air filtration systems can help you to ensure a healthier home environment for you and your family every single day if you are in doubt as to what your specific allergies are or how best to reduce them, talk to your doctor for more guidance and support.

 

Upgrades To Do On Your Apartment Next

Cheap landlords enjoy doing the least by painting everything white, adding sconces from a funeral parlor, and putting in cabinet hardware that comes off after a few uses. While being a tenant can make you feel helpless, there is hope in renter-friendly repairs, from temporary flooring to shrewd advice on upgrading cheap lightswitch plates.

house interior

Because people believe it will take too much time, and money, that they won’t see a return on their investment, or that the home is only temporary, many individuals don’t take the time to actually make their rental look the way they want to make them feel happy and calm. But what’s this? That’s all untrue! There are numerous ways to incorporate unique touches to genuinely make a space feel like your own. There are numerous ways to make your apartment appear more costly and less transient, and they don’t necessarily involve spending a lot of money or time.

The greatest faux-wood wainscoting and panels 

We can try, but we can’t all live in a redwood and glass bachelor apartment from Laurel Canyon circa 1978. Despite being designed for temporary installation, this reclaimed-wood paneling has a five-star rating on Wayfair and will give your home the appearance of being extremely lived in redwood cabins.

There are also several conventional white wainscoting sets that can decorate a large, empty wall without making it appear cluttered if your aesthetic is a little more pared-down 1920s townhouse meets minimalist Parisian apartment.

Combine lighting 

Let’s face it, apartment illumination is frequently unsatisfactory. Replace your fluorescent bulbs with softer-toned ones to start. Warm (yellowish) to cool (blueish) tones are the two main types of light bulbs, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Although I like warmer bulbs, each home is unique. Layering your illumination is a good idea after changing your lightbulbs. When you layer lighting, you use more than one source of light in a space rather than simply your usual overhead lighting. Most apartments already have you covered with ambient lighting—the overall, central lighting for the room, usually from a ceiling light. Floor lamps are also good for adding another large light source.

Open up to the outside 

Plants bring tenderness to a space that is difficult to replicate with other decor. Plants give a room life (literally) and demonstrate that a house is occupied and appreciated. You don’t need to have a green thumb to take care of plants, and they may readily add color to neutral spaces. You don’t have to be concerned about ruining your new investment because synthetic plants now seem far better and more realistic than they did only a few years ago. Start with a succulent if you do wish to give indoor gardening a try. For survival, they require a lot of light but little watering and attention.

Increase security to feel safer at home 

Renting could not provide you with the kind of security you require to feel secure, especially if you’re relocating to a new location. Simple improvements are available, such as apartment intercom systems, sliding door locks, and window locks.

 

Things You Didn’t Know Add Value to Your Home

Woman holding home for sale sign – Image Courtesy of Pexels

You will always be looking for ways to add value to your home when you place it on the market. And it can be challenging to know how to do this. Yet often, it’s actually pretty simple, and in some cases, you don’t even have to lift a finger. Here are a few for a better asking price.

How Your Home Looks

When you are placing your home on the market, its appearance is vitally important. Many prospective buyers will make an instant snap judgment based solely on the property’s appearance. Since they cannot see the inside without a viewing, the exterior of your house is the first thing they will see. Therefore, you can’t ignore the things that make a home look more appealing. These include the quality of the roof (find out more), landscaping, and exterior features like paint, windows, and doors. A well-kept lawn also adds some value to your price.

Local Shopping Will Add Value to Your Home

Even though we live in a world with far too many cars, people still like to be close to shopping facilities. So if your home is near things like shopping malls, supermarkets, and retail parks, you can command a higher asking price. Especially if they are within walking distance, and your home is not next to the main traffic routes, i.e., a buyer gets the advantages with none of the noise and pollution. And naturally, the more amenities there are nearby, the more you can potentially get. Just be sure to give your agent a comprehensive list to include in the brochure.

Trees and Foliage

Nature plays a large role in the price of your home. Tress, plants, and foliage automatically increase the value of your home. And you don’t even have to do anything apart from trimming the hedges for curb appeal. People love nature and will pay more for it, especially in their own homes in urban areas. And the trees don’t even have to be on your property either. Street trees are a major attraction. However, it helps if any greenery is on the property owners can do as they wish with them. Herb gardens and vegetable patches are also a major attraction.

The Road or Street Name

Surprisingly, the name of the road upon which your property is situated can affect the price by as much as a 5% increase. Generic sounding roads don’t do much for your potential. However, upper-class sounding road names can tweak the price a little. For instance, “something road” or “something street” isn’t too exciting. But “green valley brow” has a certain ring to it that makes it more appealing. Additionally, studies have found that people will pay more for houses with officially-registered names and a matching name plate attached. Posh is a trending factor today.

Simple DIY Jobs Can Increase Value

The outside of your home is one thing. But the interior is a whole other subject. There’s so much inside a house that it can become overwhelming to stay on top of things. Especially in older properties. But here are some minor DIY jobs that can add value to your asking price:

  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.
  • Fixing creaking floorboards.
  • Bathroom and kitchen mold removal.
  • Paintwork touch-ups.
  • Keeping the house clean and tidy.

Of course, there are far more jobs you could do, such as fixing a dripping tap or replacing degraded door handles. The trick is to make your home appear like it needs as little maintenance as possible. As a result, you are also more likely to secure a quick sale.

The Garage and Front Door

Your home’s front door is much more than a simple portal. A reliable front door is made from reliable materials, has a strong lock for deterring burglars, and is energy efficient. So making an investment in a door upgrade gives a prospective buyer peace of mind. As a result, you can add some value to your asking price. The more reliable the front door is, the more you can ask. No one will pay more for a weak composite door that a child could break into. Additionally, energy bills will be higher if you have a front door made from cheap materials with no insulation.

Off-Street Parking

There are too many cars on the road today. And it’s getting worse. However, cars are seen as a modern necessity. However, because of the increase, parking is becoming something of a nightmare, especially on older roads and streets that were built when no one had a car. Simply put, they weren’t designed to accommodate oversized SUVs, RVs, and luxury sedans. Additionally, you might have to pay for the privilege of parking outside your own home in some places. Therefore, a property with off-street parking is worth far more to a buyer. 

Add Value to Your Home by Going Green

The green movement is happening whether you agree with it or not. New properties are being built to green standards as outlined by new regulations in many countries. Eco-friendly homes use energy and water in inventive ways, reducing the waste and costs associated with each. So they’re more appealing to a buyer. You can capitalize on buyer expectations by making your home a greener place. Some initial investment is required. Yet solar panels alone can reduce electricity bills by as much as 25%. Any green investment adds instant value to your house.

Smart Technology

Smart tech isn’t anything new. However, it was once only accessible to the wealthy. Today, smart technology is affordable to almost everyone thanks to leaps in ease of use due to smartphones and production costs. Because of this, smart tech is becoming an expected aspect of a home on the market. And it’s asked for by clients while being incorporated into new builds. From simple voice-controlled LED lighting to complex control systems throughout, any kind of smart technology can be installed relatively cheaply and can add up to 20% value.

Summary

The list of ways to add value to your home is never-ending. But some unexpected things increase your asking price, many of which require no work on your part. For example, local shopping, the street name, and off-street parking command a better asking price.